7 August 2019
As sunsets over a successful camp and the last day of training concludes, cadets have enjoyed competitions and friendship plus the much anticipated final parade that brought with it awards and recognition. Now all that’s left to do is to load our lorries and get ready to hand the camp over.
As the sun rose on the last full day at camp teams from all four companies got dressed appropriate to their events:
The fieldcraft teams went through all the normal stages of battle preparation. The C Company team took the time to show their ‘representative’ smoke grenades. Whilst the D Company team stopped to unravel their ‘Para’ Flag for a photo. B Company practiced monoverse and A Company talked strategy.
Sports teams started warm up laps around camp, while the drill teams feverishly cleaned boots and rehearsed continuity movements. Some cadets started packing bags, other cadets got busy with mops and brooms cleaning the camp ready for hand over.
Additionally a group of Cadets and adults had one last prestigious military visit left, a trip to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, to watch the Commandants review, a Military ‘Dress Rehearsal’ of the officers cadets at Sandhurst who hope to pass out this coming Friday.
The cadets who visited ‘Sandhurst’ got to see a fine display of drill meticulously planned and carried out, featuring horses, swords and the ‘Queens Colours’. This was probably only the second best drill display in the UK today, as back at camp our 4 cadet drill teams were battling it out to win the prize for the best drill team. The competition was eventually won by D Company, whose added Celebration on the ‘Values and Standards’ as well as a mention of their regimental affiliations brought a tear to the eyes of some spectators. In second place came A Company's drill team, the display that they put on was a great embodiment of the theme for this years camp “Back to Basics”. The Drill contest was judged by a panel of experts including 2 regular army Sergeant Majors from the ATR.
Out on the training area there was a dazzling display of patrol skills. With enemy positions to overthrow, casualties to extract while under fire and even a high value target to capture and protect as a prisoner of war. The adrenaline charged competition saw some of the competing cadets get through almost 100 rounds of ammunition in a single fire fight. The Cadets were scrutinised throughout the exercise by a number of our ‘veteran’ instructors, as well as by our Training Safety Adviser who is serving solider on a full time secondment to our cadets.
On the sports field our teams competed whilst cheered on by friends as football was played and glory was sought. There were heats and contests for both male and female competitors. Some very close games were played much to the pleasure of the spectators, including Major General Tapp who visited our cadets at camp today.
By lunch our somewhat exhausted cadets (& adults) enjoyed a cooked meal before spending some time packing and making preparations for final parade.
Final parade was presided over by our new Cadet RSM. With clockwork precision RSM Mesina who had previously lead the D Company drill team to victory, once again showed his drill prowess by performing his role as the county's premier cadet on the parade.
Our colonel handed out a number of awards and presentations on the parade. As a county we celebrated more senior cadet promotions. As well as witnessing a number of cadets completing their 4 Star APC awards. There was a special Award to Corporal Georgia Carter of C Company for her quick actions in a first aid emergency and then of course the presentation of trophies for the winners of the many camp competitions.
After a final blessing from our Padre, the parade took a full march past and presented a formal salute to the Colonel from her dais.
As the cadets fell out from final parade for the final dinner meal of camp, there was much business and excitement in the air. This evening each company hosted it's own company parades with promotions and awards. Also a time for all the kit to be moved back to the transport lorries, it’s a night of lugging kit and cleaning rooms and it marks the end of a very successful and enjoyable camp for the cadets of Essex.